The Line That Separates Them. — Line 11

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A Comfortable Nap.

September 11. Monday. 07:10 A.M.

Triing~! Triing~! ~Triing~!

TAP!

September 11. Monday. 07:10 A.M.

Triing~! Triing~! Triing~!

“…”

Triing~! Triing~! Triing~!

“Ah! Fine!”

I ascend from my bed while surrounded by the reverberating sound of the alarm originating from my phone. Instead of snoozing, I dismiss my alarm and sit on the bed to properly process the situation. I use my fingers to move the black hair which was swaying in front of my eyes.

It’s Monday, huh. Yesterday was quite an uneventful day as I spent half of it thinking about the date that Takumi and his sister probably went on. It’s not a.s if I am jealous of his sister, or rather, if that were to be the case, I would have to distance myself from him as much as I could. Can’t let such a wonderful guy be around a bitch like me who gets jealous of his sister even after knowing the complicated and upsetting circumstances that surround Takumi.

Well, today I will be able to see him again after this unbearably long weekend. I’ll ask Minami to invite him to have lunch with us again. We’ve only had our lunch together twice, and during both of those times, I wasn’t in the best of conditions and couldn’t communicate with him properly. I hope this time things progress differently.

“Yes! Today is going to be another beautiful day!”

I silently and quickly move progress through my morning routine of brushing my teeth, freshening up, washing my face, changing into my uniform, applying make-up and arranging my hair. I grab my school bag and walk down the stairs to reach the dining room where my father was busy squinting his eyes trying to read the contents of the article displayed on the screen of his phone, and my brother had this cheerful expression on his face while chewing his bread slowly. My mother was humming a sweet tune while half-dancing in the kitchen as she prepared breakfast.

I walked up to the table and settled on the chair which was stationed beside my brother’s and in front of my father’s. Our dining table is a six-person table which superficially looks quite exquisite due to it being constructed using a special kind of polished wood. I picked up the glass of juice and took a sip of it, honestly, it felt heavenly. My dad placed his phone face-down on the table, and while gripping a fork with his first two fingers, asked my brother in a frank yet fatherly tone.

“So, Kozue, is the new job is treating you well?”

My father, Kobayashi Kiyohiro, is a department head in one of the leading companies in Japan’s telecommunications industry. Both my brother and I take after my mother in terms of appearance, but we seem to have inherited our father’s height trait as both of us are of ample height for our respective age group and gender category. My brother’s height exceeds 180 centimeters, while I am about 167 centimeters tall. I believe my height is perfect as it is 8 centimeters less than that of Takumi’s, the perfect height difference for a kiss.

Thinking about kissing Takumi. The right side of my mouth involuntarily curled up and formed a smile.

“Yes father, we were called in yesterday to be given a breakdown of our jobs and the duties we’ll be expected to perform. We were invited to the headquarters of one of the biggest companies in the world, and let me tell you, it was huge~! It felt like it was covering the whole region of Ōta on its own!”

“Ōta, huh, isn’t it quite far from where we live?”

“No, Ōta from Chiyoda is quite manageable. My work starts at 9, so if I leave home at 8, I should be able to reach there in time.”

“So… You will be working from the headquarters?”

“I am still not sure… They have a campus in almost every city, so I could be placed anywhere for work, but I guess I will be starting from headquarters.”

“That’s good. Tell me, how is the CEO like? I couldn’t ask you yesterday as you left quite early. You’ve had dinner with him, haven’t you?”

My brother opened his mouth to speak but closed it instantly. He stole a glance at me and then proceeded to speak up while hesitating. Why did he steal a glance at me?

“U-Umm, I know that you are my father and all, however, his identity is a global secret, and I am forbidden to reveal it to anyone, even if it is my family.”

He said so and then bowed his head in our father’s direction.

“Ah~ It’s fine, you don’t have to bow your head… I understand the circumstances. However, telling us a little about him won’t do much harm, right?”

“Our CEO is more amazing than I ever imagined him to be… He’s a technology freak, every inch of the headquarters building is filled with various kinds of tech. The working conditions for the employees are so good that it feels more like a home than home itself. The employees work with a smile on their face and hum sweet tunes while typing away on their keyboard… There are many papers stuck on the walls of the cabins where the employees work, all the papers having a quote from the CEO written upon them. Nobody even knows how the CEO looks like, but they still blindly trust him, it’s at the level where they would give up their life for him. I’ve heard that some employees were college or high-school dropouts, and as such, their innate talent went unrecognized, however, our CEO acknowledged them and gave them a place to belong, and now those people worship him. There is also this thing where he was challenged by many talented employees at things they were best at, but they still lost. He isn’t some half-assed guy who sits behind the desk and gives order while not being able to do anything himself… He’s the real deal.”

My father and I were left speechless. After speaking for so long, he has this proud look on his face… What is he? Your boyfriend or something?

“Fufu, he speaks more about his boss than he did about his girlfriend when he introduced her to us. Speaking of which, how is she?”

My mother asked as she made her way from the kitchen to the dining table while carrying plates which had her breakfast and my own.

Brother’s girlfriend, huh? Yeah, she’s cute and capable as well. He was telling us the other day that she got accepted into some foreign-based company and has an impressive annual package.

“She’s great. Her office is in Minato, so we can meet up whenever we want. She was extremely happy after I told her about my job. She’s currently renting an apartment in Minato, so I may stay over sometimes.”

Is that so…? My brother is living his life to the fullest, huh. And then there’s me, I can’t even properly confess my feelings to the one I love.

“Looks like you’re enjoying your youth. It’s fine, you can move in with her if you want.”

My father has always been a friend-like figure to my brother, but I can’t detect the same sense of frankness when he’s communicating with me. My mother says that this sense of distance is because I am a girl, and my father is too overprotective when it comes to me.

“No… it’s fine. I want to spend as much time as I can with you guys…”

He had a look of reminiscence as he stated so to our father and mother. My mother was visibly taken aback, she responded to him in a sort-of worried tone.

“Kozu-chan, didn’t you used to say that you’d move out as soon as you land a job? It’s not like we mind you staying with us or anything like that.”

He adopted a wry smile and said while sipping on his share of juice.

“No… It’s just that a certain someone made me realize the true worth of family.”

“Is that so…? Well, we are quite happy with this decision of yours. Tell me, my idiot son, what’s your package?”

“Thank you, father. My starting package is around 24 million yen.”

My eyes widen, mother and father follow suit.

“W-Wait… K-Kozu-chan, y-you’re s-starting w-with 24 million?”

“S-Son, it will be around 15 million yen if you take out the various taxes, you know?”

“U-Umm, my apologies. My annual package is 42 million, it becomes around 24 million after removing all the taxes.”

That’s… a lot of money…

“So you’ll be earning 6 million more than me when you’ve just started, huh. I feel foolish for working so hard for the last 25 years of my life…”

“I don’t know how to react to that statement father. It’s just that The Oracle is a fairly larger company than your company.”

“No shit.”

Awkward silence persisted on our breakfast table until it was time for my brother and me to leave.

My school is in Tokyo, while my brother’s office is in Ōta, so we took off in separate directions. The school is pretty close to where I live, so I walk there every day. Chiaki’s house falls on the way to school so we walk together. More accurately, she guards and protects me on our way to school.

We reach our school at about 8:25 AM, and then make our way to the lockers. Chiaki heads over to her locker while I hesitate to open the one which belongs to me. My locker, yes, it has my name written on it. However, one glance at it and you could tell that a pair of indoor-shoes wasn’t the only thing in there. I waited for Chiaki to equip herself with indoor-shoes, and when she came back, she said this in a totally serious tone.

“Ready for the battle?”

“It isn’t a battle!!”

I retorted. After this, both Chiaki and I opened the locker quite delicately.

Woosh~

What took us by expected surprise were the many envelopes stuffed inside my locker. I zipped open my school bag and placed all of the said letters in it. Heaving a sigh of tiredness, I then changed into my indoor-shoes and dragged my feet in the direction of the classroom.

“I want to see Takumi~~”

“Homeroom starts in five minutes.”

“I don’t care! It’s been three whole days, and it took a lot out of me to clean up the stack of letters.”

“Well… Monday is Monday. The boys haven’t seen you in three days. The way Kawashima-kun appears to you is the same as how you appear to half of the male population of our school.”

“Half is going too far…”

“No, it’s not going too far…”

She heaves a huge sigh and then proceeds to look at me with eyes full of sympathy.

“Fine… Give me your bag, I’ll take it to class, just make sure to return before the bell rings.”

“Chi-chan. I love you.”

I hand over my bag to Chiaki and kiss her on the cheek. I make my way over to class ‘1-E’ by walking up the stairs. Many boys tried to get in my way, but I was able to dodge all of them with a smile on my face. As soon as I reached class ‘1-E’, my eyes wandered around, looking for the one I want to observe.

There he was, sitting in his chair, elbow on the table, chin on the palm, eyes towards the world beyond the window, concentration on the conversation happening around his table.

My heart melted. I am healed. I melted. My heart has healed.

My body suddenly felt lighter and my mind cleared up. Now I have the energy to make it to a lunch break without any problems. I take out my phone and text Minami.

[Did you do it?]

She replied instantly.

[Yes! He says he’ll come!]

I could feel the happiness oozing out of her even through a text. She must be dancing in joy right about now.

Sigh~ I’ve been made to realize the fact that I’m not the only one that loves him yet again. Minami and I are friends, no, we are best friends. However, we both can’t deny the fact that we love the same guy. If one of us would voluntarily give up on him, then it could solve everything… However, neither of us could ever consider doing such a thing, nor would we suggest doing so to the other, and that’s because… We both genuinely love him…

Unlike me, Minami has experience in dating. Minami, being as shy as she is, wouldn’t be counted on to have experience in the romantic department, but she does. She hasn’t kissed or anything, but she told us that what she felt during middle school wasn’t ‘love’, it was just a mere sense of attraction, and as such, she knows that what she feels towards Takumi is genuine and unwavering love. We both know that one day, either one of us, or both of us will end up devastated. Once a person in love said, “Lovesickness is the most dangerous disease out there,” guess they weren’t wrong.

Even though our circumstances are complicated, we have immense trust in each other. We know that even if Takumi chooses one of us, the other will accept it without any resistance. As I am now, I don’t know if I could do it without breaking down, however, I am determined to get stronger… for both our sakes.

Contemplating on such matters, I made my way to my class and reached just in time for the homeroom.

I was barely able to make it through the four periods in the morning. As soon as the lunch break started, I grabbed my lunch box, Chiaki’s lunch box, and Chiaki, and sneakily made my way to the roof of our building. The same roof where Takumi became my salvation. We were the first ones there, but there wasn’t a hint of embarrassment within me, I couldn’t let Takumi wait for me, could I?

At about 12:30 A.M, the door to the rooftop opened and three people came through. Aoki-kun was leading the group with two lunchboxes in his hands, following him were Minami and Takumi. Minami’s blonde hair swayed with the wind, her blue eyes were fixed on Takumi’s face as if they could see nothing else, her pure white skin had a slight hue of red brandished upon it, and her lips were forming a beautiful smile which knew no peer in attractiveness.

I am jealous. I am so very jealous. I want to run and separate those two right now. I want to engulf Takumi in my arms and announce that he’s mine. I want him to look at me and no one else. These are my honest feelings… However, if I act on them, it would be an act of betrayal against Minami and our promise.

Chiaki takes out the mat and spreads it out on the roof’s floor. All five of us remove our footwear and settle on the mat. Of course, I didn’t let this opportunity slide and sat down beside Takumi. I was sitting on the right side of Takumi while Minami was occupying the left. Facing Takumi was Aoki-kun, and beside him was Chiaki, who was facing me.

We open our lunch boxes and begin to eat it slowly. The one who initiates the conversation is Chiaki.

“So you two brought lunch boxes today, huh, By the way, both of your lunch boxes seem quite similar.”

“Yeah, we decided to bring our lunch boxes today, as our chef had some extra time this morning.”

Aoki-kun placed a piece of meat inside his mouth and took a glance at Takumi while saying so.

“Kawashima-kun….cooked all of this food?”

“Well Princess, as he said, I had a few spare minutes this morning, so I just threw some ingredients together.”

“This isn’t just at the level of ‘throwing ingredients together’, it’s professional-level cooking.”

Minami said so while observing their lunch boxes, and as she said, they seemed to be made by utilizing a chef’s skills. Ever since the day I fell for Takumi, I’ve been learning how to cook and how to perform household chores, and as such, I can tell that every ingredient is cooked with absolute perfection.

More importantly, Takumi was the one who cooked it. I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it. I. Want. It.

“Hey, Fujiwara-san, Kobayashi-san, do you want to take a bite? Takumi was the one who cooked it, you know?”

You bastard! Don’t say it like that! Well… I would’ve preferred being fed by Takumi, but what can you do?

““Don’t mind if I do~””

We grab a bit of food from Aoki-kun’s lunch box with our chopsticks and place it in our mouths. What followed that action was a sensation. A sensation of true bliss. A sensation of emotions being conveyed by tongue. I believe that my feelings play a major role in it, but the food, even though it was a bit on the cold side, was the tastiest that I’ve ever consumed.

“““It’s delicious.”””

Chiaki had taken a bite too, and even she couldn’t stop herself from admiring the masterpiece she was eating.

“Well… That’s our live chef for you…”

Minami said so while rubbing both of her hands on her cheeks, probably trying to experience the taste for as long as she could.

“What do you mean?”

“Ah~ It’s just that Takumi-kun will be a live-chef for the entirety of the cultural festival.”

Ah, it’s about that, huh. Wait, if Takumi is taking up the role of a live-chef, what are they exactly doing?

“Umm… Minami, what is your class exactly doing?”

“We are doing a suit restaurant-cum-cafe.”

She said so as if it were the most natural thing in the world. I don’t know what that means.

“W-What is that?”

“Ah, allow me to explain…”

Aoki-kun barged into our conversation and volunteered to explain.

“It’s a cafe-cum-restaurant where all the students in the classroom, be it boys or girls, will be dressed in a suit and serve the customers. And with this not being a butler cafe, only serving the cafe related items would be contradictory, so we decided to add a restaurant. That’s where Takumi comes in with his cooking skills. We’ll set up a live-cooking counter in the classroom itself and have the people order there to fill their bellies. And when they do, and enjoy it to the fullest, and in turn, tell others to come into our restaurant-cum-cafe as well.”

“The idea itself is quite good, but, won’t it be expensive?”

“Don’t worry about it, everything is planned while keeping the budget in check. Menu items will comprise of dishes and beverages which are very cheap to make yet they taste great. The main attraction of our establishment would be the boys and girls in suits and not the food itself, but even so, we’ll serve them top-grade food with Takumi cooking it and all, making the customer’s experience one that they would never forget.”

“T-That’s so simple, but it’s also perfect! Who came up with it?”

Chiaki asked in admiration, the reply came instantaneously and without hesitation.

““Takumi(-kun)””

What the hell is happening here? Takumi came up with it? Well… maybe it’s the result of him working part-time jobs to support his sister and himself, whatever it may be, it kinda makes me proud.

“By the way, Yoshikawa-san, what is your class doing?”

“Umm, it’s a deadlock between a cat cafe and a maid cafe. I mean, it’s gotta be those two, we have a lot of firepower in that department after all.”

She said so and then proceeded to steal a sidelong glance at me. Yes, yes, I know, it was unanimously decided that I would be the main attraction after all.

“Well… Princess in either of those outfits would draw quite the attention. Can’t say I wouldn’t want to see her dressed like that.”

Calm down feelings… Calm down. Don’t scream. My cheeks turn red and my head involuntarily lowers, but I managed to keep my cool and reply.

“Umm, Kawashima-kun, please do come and have a drink at our cafe. I will be waiting for you…”

I raise my head and what came into my view was the sight of four people staring at me in astonishment.

“…both. I meant that I will be waiting for you both.”

All of them had a very complicated expression on their faces, especially Aoki-kun and Chiaki. I instantly regretted the words I spoke and wanted to turn back time to before I chickened out.

“Is that so? Well, both of us will be looking forward to it as well, Princess.”

He said that and adopted a wry smile. I noticed one thing today, he didn’t have his usual aloof expression on, rather, he seemed quite accommodating and approachable. Honestly, if he were to come and watch me work, I don’t think I would be able to concentrate on it at all.

A peaceful yet awkward silence persisted after that for quite some time. The one who broke this silence was Minami.

“Takumi-kun, your ear seems to have some excess wax in it.”

Everybody’s attention was drawn to Takumi. He placed his hand on his left ear and said in a voice that seemed to agree with Minami’s words.

“You’re right, I haven’t gotten time recently to clean it, I’ll clean it as soon as I find a second to breathe.”

“I-If y-you don’t mind, I-I have an ear-bud right now, w-want me to clean it for you?”

Her face was red, but she slowly retrieved two ear-buds from her bag in which she carried her lunch box. She then proceeded to sit in seiza posture and pat on her thighs lightly, as if inviting Takumi to place his head on it.

“We do have twenty minutes left… Fine. I will be in your care Minami.”

WHAT!? He agreed!? I was hoping that he would politely refuse and bow his head or something. This is bad. Minami is unparalleled beauty in her own right, her thighs are very soft and warm, and her ear-cleaning skills are top-notch as well. I know from experience. If a male is exposed to her caliber of ear-cleaning service, it would be near-impossible to resist the temptation to go further. H-o-w-e-v-e-r, we are talking about Takumi here, he shouldn’t be swooned by something like this, right?

I have to reluctantly move from my spot as Takumi would be laying down. I settle down on the other side of Aoki-kun, and in front of Minami. Takumi lays his head down on Miami’s lap, is brown hair fall to the side of his head, exposing his forehead. He closes his eyes and waits for Minami to begin. Minami was excessively red, but it seems like she calmed down once he placed his head in her lap.

She returned one of the two buds into the small bad and brought the one that was left closer to his right ear. Her hands weren’t trembling like they were a second ago, or rather, it felt like they had gained an unusual amount of dexterity in a very short time. The ear-bud slowly and gently moves around inside Takumi’s ear.

“This feels good, Minami.”

He said so with his eyes closed and breathing calm. Minami’s tensed faced turned into an extremely happy one and she replied cheerfully.

“I am happy that it makes you feel good Takumi-kun!”

This continued for another two minutes, after which, Minami stood up from her position and shifted to where Takumi’s legs were placed, and urged him to bring his head there. As a girl, I understood that this was a clear sign of affection as she probably wanted to see his face in the light, which she couldn’t have done if he had rotated his head to face towards her abdomen. There was one other purpose for this action, and that was to show off. She’s picking a fight with me, isn’t she?

“Chi-chan, switch.”

Chiaki groans but she complies and switches with me. I come face-to-face with Minami who is happily cleaning Takumi’s left ear.

I was about to say something, but I was stopped by Aoki-kun’s hand.

“Shut it. Look, someone’s asleep.”

When I turned my gaze to where Aoki-kun was pointing, I saw Takumi peacefully sleeping. Not even Minami realized that he had fallen asleep, she was just as surprised as I was. His facial muscles were completely relaxed and his body, which was on its side, was comfortably positioned.

“This is bliss~”

Minami said while eyeing me. Her eyes had a hint of naughtiness in it. You wouldn’t expect such behavior from someone as introverted as her, but when she becomes close enough to you, she’s a real troublemaker.

“Hey now, don’t rub his hair like that.”

I was gritting my teeth, my skirt was getting crumbled because I clutching it with both my hands. The two people left awake already knew about our feelings and the one who shouldn’t have known is asleep.

“The lack of sleep got to him, huh. He’d normally sleep during class, but because of the discussion about the cultural festival, he couldn’t, just let him sleep. He’s been working non-stop lately…”

“Working?”

Minami asks in a concerned voice. No… don’t tell her. She’s way too sensitive to these kinda things.

“Well… Both his parents are dead. So he works to support his sister and himself. His sister always tells him to not push himself, but he does it either way. He’s a very hardworking man. Now you know where his cooking skills come from.”

Minami froze, and so did Chiaki. They had the same reaction as me when I initially found out.

“S-S-Stop j-joking A-Aoki-kun. T-This i-isn’t funny.”

“You can ask your best friend if you want. She already knows the truth.”

Minami’s voice was breaking, her breathing turned ragged, her eyes were filled with tears, and her arms and legs were trembling. She looked at me, with eyes full of confusion and panic. Chiaki was on my right, so I couldn’t tell what her reaction was, but undoubtedly, she was looking at me as well.

“It’s the truth. His sister’s name is Kawashima Miyuki.”

Minami gasps, Chiaki gulps, and that is because Kawashima Miyuki is one of the most popular girls in school. According to a recent survey, the results of which I had to reluctantly hear about, she’s the fifth-most popular girl in school, while I am the third and Minami is the sixth. Minami and I are the only two girls from the first-year who make it into the top-twenty. It seems that our school is filled with quite many talented students.

“Kawashima Miyuki… as in… the last year’s beauty pageant winner? That Kawashima Miyuki?”


“Yes, Chi-chan, the very same.”

Their expressions complicate further. The time has exceeded 1:00 P.M., but no one can move a muscle. The only distinguishable sound in this atmosphere would be the breathing sound that Takumi’s making while sleeping.

“Aoki-kun… When?”

Minami’s voice is low and hesitant… She’s suffering. Her suffering is far worse than mine, this is the proof of how much she loves him.

“Three years ago.”

“You mean to say that Takumi-kun is the one who got Kawashima-senpai admitted into this school? He’s the one who is bearing the financial burden of both his sister and himself? You mean to say that the reason he’s always sleeping during morning classes is because he’s exhausted from work? Are you telling me that the boy I fell in love with has been living in such difficult circumstances? And yet, and yet, he still manages to do everything, be it school-related or not, with such an indifferent expression on his face?”

“Minami-”

“I am glad.”

She wipes the rolling tears from her face and speaks in a slightly higher voice.

“I am glad that I fell in love with such a strong man. I do not pity him even a bit, rather, my admiration and respect for him has dramatically increased. Hearing all this just makes me want to polish myself further, so I can one day stand beside him as an equal. Miya, do you feel the same?”

She looks me in the eye. Her beautiful blue eyes meet my own. There is a certain fire within them, one which won’t be extinguished with something as menial as this.

“Yes. I have to admit, somewhere deep down, I looked down on him for his unfortunate circumstance, but that feeling momentarily vanished and what took form in its place was unwavering belief and trust. I am glad as well that I fell in love with a man as wonderful as him, and I won’t back down without a fight.”

“Of course.”

We both look in each other’s eyes and let show the strongest smile that we can.

“You both sure are interesting. Looks like Takumi’s life is not going to be a peaceful one. Well… he does kinda prefer bold and strong girls, you both are on the right track.”

““Hehe””

When I rotate my neck in Aoki-kun’s direction, I cross eyes with Chiaki as well. Chiaki has this gentle expression which kinda reminds me of my mother.

And as such, the bell rings and Aoki-kun wakes Takumi up. The two of them leave first and we follow them after about two minutes, this was a strategy proposed by Takumi to make sure that no one knows about us eating together.

I spend the rest of my day thinking about the conversation we had in the lunch break. I take out my phone, and when I unlock it, the wallpaper shows a picture of peacefully sleeping Takumi.


September 11. Monday. 5:00 A.M.

“I feel like I am already 60.”

They say that old people tend to wake up early, their body clocks are accurate to the level of seconds. I don’t know… I am only 16 and I automatically wake up at 5 in the morning.


“Lily, I am awake. Dismiss all scheduled alarms. Increase the thermostat by 2-degree Celcius. Initiate in-house cleaning: Level 3. Brew me a coffee. Wake up the living room, kitchen, and the second living room. Fill up the rooftop bath and have the water heated according to the customized settings. Download all the files sent by Tsukamoto Riku and Sawada Kyoko on to the home interface. Send all the drafts I’ve created in the past two days to the {Battle Force}.”

[Understood. Commencing multiple operations.]

I get up from my bed and walked towards the bathroom.

Fwoosh~

The curtains covering the huge window automatically open and reveal to me the dark and sleeping world. My room is quite large, but it is filled with so many things that it doesn’t feel that way. My room has a work desk with all the latest tech installed on it. I have a large bookshelf where many kinds of books are stored. My bed is a custom prototype created just for me, it has the world’s best mattress and the frame has the most advanced of technology incorporated into it, it did cost me around one million yen, and it is worth it. There are a lot of other things as well, but it would be time-consuming to even think about them.

There are a total of three doors in my room. One leads to the hallway of the second floor. One leads into the bathroom. And the last door leads into a man-cave. My man-cave is impressive, if I do say so myself, I’ve picked each piece of equipment in there using my very own hands. Almost all of the stuff in there is limited-edition and the best and rarest of its kind, making it my most treasured place in the world.

I move to the bathroom and follow my morning routine. At about 5:30 A.M. I enter Fumiya’s room to wake him up. Fumiya deliberately chose a room that was quite far away from mine. It takes more than ten minutes of walking to reach Fumiya’s room from my own. But I don’t need to walk as I have many gadgets to resolve that particular problem. I walk up to Fumiya’s bed with a coffee mug in my hand.

“Fumiya, wake up. It’s training time. You got away yesterday thanks to Miyuki, but today we return to our schedule.”

I kick him once after taking off my slipper, he groans and returns to the realm of dreams momentarily.

Bam!

I kick him again, this time with a bit of force. He writhes in pain and then gets up from his bed obediently.

“Wash your face and come to the backyard. If you make me come for you again, you’re dead.”

“Yes, sir.”

He gives a tired salute in my direction and turns his body in the direction of the bathroom. I leave Fumiya’s room and head to the backyard, after retrieving Sana from her room of course. I play with her for some time until Fumiya makes his way to the garden. He’s wearing guards on his arms, legs, and abdomen. His eyes convey that he is ready now. I order Sana to go inside the house as it is quite cold right now, she complies and can be seen diving into the couch in the living room and enjoying the warmth that it provides.

“Now then, come at me.”

“Won’t you at least take a stance.”

“Manage to hit me once and I’ll think about it.”

“Fine… Here. I. Come.”

He runs towards me while keeping his acceleration and center of gravity in check. And due to all the training we do, he’s quite fast. However, he’s facing me.

“Ah~ Ah~ It hurts. Everything hurts.”

“But I didn’t hit you even once.”

“You didn’t, but you didn’t let me hit either. I kept falling and hitting myself the whole time yet again.”

“It’s fine. Go, take a bath, I’ll do the same. Let’s meet in the kitchen at 7.”

He gets up from the grass sluggishly and drags his feet back into the mansion. I place Sana’s food into her silver bowl and place it on the living room’s floor. Sana runs up and starts eating it slowly and cheerfully. Sana isn’t like other dogs, she’s quite smart. She knows that if she eats fast, she’d end up choking. She even has good ground manners.

I retrieve my towel and school uniform from my closet and head towards the Jacuzzi on the roof. I enjoy a nice and peaceful bath and reach the kitchen at 7. Fumiya’s already here and he’s watching the news.

“Looks like we have some time today. I’ll make us some lunch boxes as well.”

“Really!? That’s great!”

Always a fan of my cooking.

“Hey, Takumi, did you hear about this?”

He raises the television volume so that I could hear what was being broadcasted on the news.

[Finally, the day has come. The Oracle has finally surpassed S.P.T.A.E to become the largest company in Japan, and with that, it has also become the sixth-largest company in the world. The major credit for this achievement goes to the CEO of The Oracle who’s name is known to none. Speaking of The Oracle’s CEO, he has surpassed seven people to become the world’s third-richest person with an estimated net worth of $102.5 Billion. Last year, the CEO of Oracle has gained a massive $30 Billion in net worth, leading to him jumping from the 10th place to the 3rd.]

Fumiya changes the channel.

[Businessan, philanthropist, motivational speaker, investor and the CEO of the sixth-largest company in the world, CEO of The Oracle jumps from his spot at the start of the two-digit mark to the third-richest person in the world. CEO of Oracle is the current chairman of The Oracle and owns more than 90% of the company. His identity is a mystery, but he continues to motivate people through his occasional speeches, which are broadcasted worldwide. He’s also considered to be the best businessman in the world, and has been given the nickname ‘Devil of the Economical World’. Currently, more than 124,000 people are permanently employed by the company and much more than that are working temporarily. The Oracle is one of the leading tech companies and has its roots going deep into the culinary, marketing, transport and manufacturing departments as well. The Oracle is just a step behind the fifth and fourth largest companies in the world, and after analyzing their growth rate, it is likely that his company will follow in his footsteps to become the third-largest in the world.]

“‘Devil of the Economical World, huh? A dumb name in my opinion.”

I say so while placing the ingredients I just chopped into the pan.

“WHY ARE YOU SAYING THAT LIKE IT’S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!!! THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT YOU!!!!!”

Woof~!

His loud voice ended up scaring Sana, so she ran towards me while trembling. I pick her up and say to Fumiya.

“Well, I did get a call about this yesterday while on the date. I have an interview scheduled with those guys in America tomorrow at 4 A.M. It seems they’re making it a public event, the interview will last for three hours, so no training for you tomorrow.”

“It’s not about that! You are the third-richest person in the world, dammit!”

“And three years ago, I didn’t exist, what about it?”

He grits his teeth and reluctantly accepts the breakfast I give him. He’s way too fond of my cooking. While he was eating, he said.

“Hey Takumi, it just hit me. I am eating food made by the third-richest person in the world. Wait, I am interacting with the third-richest person in the world.”

“Shut up or I’ll not make your lunch box.”

“Please forgive me.”

My mansion is in Itabashi, and Miyuki lives in Toshima, so it will not be that much of a distance change if she does move in with us. Fumiya and I normally travel by train, but if by chance I get held up because of some urgent work, we commute by car. Taking the train around 7:45 A.M, we can easily make it to school on time.

We take off from home at about 7:40 and reach the station by using my motorbike, Fumiya doesn’t have a license, but I do. I can go to school directly while riding my motorbike, but I’d rather not. My motorbike is a customized model of BMW R 1250 G. I have a total number of five motorbikes, but this one is best for riding in the morning.

I park my bike in a paid parking spot and board the train which takes us to Tokyo. We reach school by 8:25 A.M. and immediately head over to our class. As soon as we entered the class, we were asked by secretly Minami to have lunch with her, and Fumiya agreed without even asking for my opinion.

I sit on my table, gazing at the world beyond while allocating my concentration to the conversation happening around my table. As soon as I notice the Princess’ presence outside the door, she takes out her phone and walks away while typing.

The homeroom starts, and when I was just about to sleep, a very troublesome topic arises in the class. Our homeroom teacher, Ms. Nakano asks.

“So… What do you guys want to do during the cultural festival?”

Our homeroom teacher, Nakano Tomoyo is a very cheerful young teacher. She’s twenty-four years old and her first batch of students are us. Our school, being as advanced and praised as it is, only hires very talented teachers. However, I can understand why they would hire Ms. Nakano. Her way of teaching is quite and unique and understandable. Someone like me, who has already learned all these things a long time ago, acknowledges this fact and admires her talent I can only say that the other students are lucky to have such talented teachers teaching them.

And as soon as she asked this, the whole class descended into turmoil. The class representatives went on to the board and grabbed the chalk in their hands. Fumiya said so while twirling the chalk using his fingers.

“Now, give your suggestions one by one.”

And after five minutes, the board was filled. There were things like a maid cafe, cat cafe, animal cafe, a play written all over it.

“Now then… Takumi, would you like to chime in?”

Fumiya said so while grinning.

“No, I’ll pass. I don’t think I’d be able to provide any useful information.”

Fumiya seemed like he was disappointed and was going to move on, but someone stopped him.

“That’s not true! Takumi-kun, I would like to hear your opinion.”

The one who said this while slamming her hand on the bench was none other than the main attraction of basically every event, Minami. No… Why would you do that? Even so, you called me by my name in front of the whole class, huh.

Everybody was staring at Minami, their eyes alternating between Minami and me. Just then, Fumiya spoke as if finding this situation interesting.

“Well, how about it, Takumi?”

I mentally heaved a deep sigh and start to speak.

“Why don’t we do a suit cafe-cum-restaurant?”

“What’s that?”

A certain person in the class says so, but he was ignored.

“It just means that everyone, be it boys or girls, will wear a suit and serve customers. You guys were going on and on about winning the inter-class competition of popularity, but if we solely rely on Minami’s charms to attract boys, we aren’t going to win, and I believe you all know the reason?”

“““““Miya-chan~”””””

“That’s right, class ‘1-A’ will probably end up doing a maid or some sort of animal-oriented cafe, and leave it solely to Kobayashi-san’s charms. In this situation, even if we decide to use Fumiya to lure in the female camp, it won’t have that much of an impact as Kobayashi-san is just that popular, so we’ll attract both the girls and boys in a different way than class ‘1-A’. It is a 100-percent certainty that every person coming to the cultural festival will visit class ‘1-A’, that’s something we can’t do anything about. We just have to do one thing, we have to make the customer’s ‘stay’, We’ll provide them with service from the cross-dressing females, which will attract boys, and suit-wearing boys(Fumiya), which will attract girls.”

“Takumi, you said something about a restaurant.”

“Yes. Now, if we do follow what I previously stated, our establishment would superficially seem like a butler cafe, and that would be bad for our reputation, whose base is the establishment’s uniqueness. And as such, we can have a live-cooking counter, where a person order something to eat and it is made live, in front of their very eyes. It would satisfy both their hunger and thirst for entertainment.”

I went into more detail and explained about the menu items and such, and when they started worrying about the live-chef counter, I volunteered myself to be the chef, which by support of Minami and Fumiya, was accepted easily,

My morning was spent like this, I couldn’t get much sleep. But I did manage to get a sweet and warm nap in Minami’s lap during the lunch break. What could I have done, it was just that comfortable. And after I woke up, I was told by Fumiya that he had told the rest of them about my true yet untrue circumstances. After that, he made me listen to the recording which contained the conversation between Princess and Minami that occurred when I was asleep.

Listening to that recording, I could only say one thing with a wry smile on my face.

“Looks like my life is going to be anything but peaceful.”


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