Volume 2, Chapter 11: Warning
Translator : F1R3H4WK
Editor : chelly
“Sayu-chaso, your phone.”
Asami put her textbooks on the table in the living room and pointed at Sayu’s phone next to her. Sayu checked the phone and then her expression softened.
“Oh, it’s Gotou-san.”
“Gotou… who’s that?”
“Um… She’s… a friend.”
Sayu replied hesitantly. Asami froze for a moment and then gave a sudden “Wow!”
“You’ve got buddies other than me?!”
“Well… we just became friends recently.”
“It doesn’t matter. Isn’t it good when you have a lot of buddies, right?”
Asami asked and without waiting for a reply, answered, “It sure is!”
Today, their shifts ended at the same time, so they came here to study in the living room.
Looking through her assignments, Asami talked to Sayu. It looked like she really enjoyed this conversation so I tried not to disrupt it. Yet, when the conversation got interrupted by the message, her expression didn’t change much, since they really were just high school students enjoying their free time.
Apparently, Gotou-san exchanged contacts with Sayu that day. The day I met Mishima at the station: after parting with her, I hurried home, but when I returned, I couldn’t believe my eyes.
“Oh, you sure took your time.”
“Hey, welcome back, Yoshida-san.”
Gotou-san and Sayu were waiting for me at home.
“Wait, don’t move. We’re not finished yet.”
“B-But Yoshida-san’s back…”
“Hey, I’m much more important than some Yoshida-kun.”
I was a bit annoyed by that. They chatted joyfully in the living room. Also, Gotou-san took out her cosmetics and tried applying some on Sayu.
“What are you doing?”
“Can’t you see? We’re doing makeup.”
Gotou-san looked at me with disdain, while gently dabbing Sayu’s cheek with a sponge.
“She’s such a wonderful girl. And if you teach this girl how to do makeup, she’ll become even more wonderful.”
“Oh, I see…”
Before this, I thought that since Sayu by herself is really beautiful, she didn’t need makeup and cosmetics, but it looks like I was wrong.
This whole situation really surprised me, but even more unexpected was that they were talking peacefully. Just a couple of hours ago, Sayu was nervous and wary of Gotou-san, but now there is nothing like that as if they have been friends for a long time.
“I’ll put everything in the refrigerator.”
“Oh, yes… thank you,” said Sayu with a glance.
I put the eggs, onions, miso, and beer in the refrigerator and sighed.
If you think about it, a lot has happened today. I was already worn out by the fact that Gotou-san came to my house. Then I also bumped into Mishima, who asked a lot of questions that I couldn’t answer. Of course, everything ended well, but when I returned, the fatigue took it’s toll.
I looked at Gotou-san, who stopped applying makeup and chuckled.
“You had a pretty long smoking session out there, didn’t you?”
Her words confused me for a second and I didn’t know what to say, but luckily Gotou-san didn’t look at me.
“I’m sorry that it took quite a while… I-I just met a friend.”
“Oh, that’s how.”
I said that the friend was Yuzuha, but the makeup-focused woman didn’t go into the subject.
“Okay, I guess now it’s done.”
Gotou-san nodded in satisfaction, placed the cosmetics on the table, and reached into her bag.
“Here, see for yourself.”
She pulled out a small mirror and handed it to Sayu. Sayu hesitantly looked into it and squealed.
“Looks different, right?”
“Uh-huh, a completely different person!”
“Haha, you’re so impressed, looks like my efforts paid off.”
Sayu looked in the mirror, and then suddenly raised her head and looked at me.
“Yoshida-san, what do you think?”
Before that, I could only see her profile, but when I saw her face, I understood what ‘different person’ they were talking about.
The usually slightly gloomy girl now looked bright and radiant. Although the expression did not change much, for some reason she seemed a lot happier. The skin looked thinner and more attractive.
To be honest, I was really embarrassed by this transformation, so I blushingly looked away.
“Well… Not bad… P-Probably…”
I couldn’t answer properly, and Gotou-san laughed.
“You are so bad at praising people, Yoshida-kun.”
“I-I’m just not used to that sort of thing…”
And again this woman giggled in response. Sayu also shook with laughter.
“You know, I heard that a man who’s not capable of complimenting a girl’s makeup will never become popular.”
“I’m not trying to become popular.”
I replied, slightly annoyed, while Sayu and Gotou-san quickly exchanged glances and then started laughing again. It looked like they really got along.
“Well. It was really fun, but it’s time for me to go home.”
Gotou-san said while looking at her watch. I put my keys and wallet back into my pocket and stood up.
“I’ll walk you to the station.”
“Oh, really? Thank you.”
“Ah, then I’ll go too!” Sayu got up, but I shook my head, stopping her.
“It’s already too late. I’ll do it myself.”
The girl was about to insist, but Gotou-san smiled softly at her.
“If you feel like talking, just send me a message. But for today, let’s part here.”
After the woman’s gentle request, Sayu nodded reluctantly.
So they exchanged contacts just after they met. And I only found out Gotou-san’s phone number six months ago. Have to admit, it really hurt my feelings. Trying to overcome it, I went out into the corridor.
Putting on my sandals, I opened the door and waited. I watched Gotou-san slowly put on her high heels and then shook my head when the thought came to my mind, “If we were married, I would see this every day.” I forced myself to look away from her and quickly raised my head, suddenly meeting Sayu’s gaze.
She looked in my direction, and when our eyes met, she just shrugged her shoulders. She showed an already prepared smile and waved to us. Not knowing how to answer that, I simply bowed my head in confusion.
“Sorry for the intrusion.”
After putting on her shoes, Gotou-san stood up and turned towards the living room.
“Okay, Sayu-chan. See ya!”
“Uh-huh! See you!”
“After saying that, Gotou-san went out into the corridor.”
Well, I had a bad feeling about this, since these words basically meant that she would like to talk to Sayu more. As dark thoughts crept into my head, I closed the door and turned the key.
On the way to the station, Gotou-san suddenly spoke up.
“About Sayu-chan. She’s a very good girl.”
“Yeah… that’s true.”
“Is that why you couldn’t leave her alone?”
“No… Well… I don’t know.”
I answered vaguely. If she’s asking if I couldn’t leave Sayu alone because she’s a ‘good girl,’ then I don’t think that that’s the reason. Although, I do not really know why I took her.
“Haha, that’s great.”
“No, nothing. Just thinking out loud.”
Gotou-san simply grinned as usual and lightly poked my shoulder.
“Don’t you dare do something with her! Now she has my phone number, you know?”
I frowned and Gotou-san again chuckled.
“One more thing…”
She started to speak again, but her voice was completely different this time.
“Take care of her.”
I realized that she was serious. She looked at me out of the corner of her eye, and it was clear that she was not joking: there was a smile on her lips, but a dead serious look.
“Of course… That’s what I’m doing.”
I said, lowering my eyes.
“If I weren’t capable of doing it, I wouldn’t have brought her home in the first place.”
“Yeah, it’s you we’re talking about, right, Yoshida-kun? That’s why I said it.”
I looked at Gotou-san speaking, with a faint twinkle in the eyes. Her gaze was fixed somewhere in the distance, somewhere far ahead.
“She’s a weak kid. A girl who doesn’t understand herself.”
She muttered and looked at me again.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if emotions suddenly burst out of her.”
I couldn’t take my gaze off Gotou-san. I don’t know why, but there was so much strength in these eyes.
Without saying anything, I continued to look in her eyes, and when she noticed, she just smiled and looked in front of her again.
“Well, no matter what, I know that you will be able to handle it, Yoshida-kun.”
“Why is that?”
“Don’t you know? At work, even higher-ups call you a ‘problem solver.’”
“If one relies on you, there will definitely be no problems, and everyone knows this.”
“And what does this even mean? Is that the reason behind all these hard projects they’re giving me?”
Gotou-san smiled and patted me on the shoulder.
“I’ll support you. Both at work and with Sayu-chan.”
“Well… I guess I’ll gladly accept it then.”
The woman said that as if it’s some sort of an apology for all the future ‘difficult’ projects and smiled at me again.
So basically, I introduced Sayu to Gotou-san and they became friends.
But the thing is that they never told me what they were talking about that day nor what happened and why they became friends.
Well, if this is a secret from everyone, then I guess I shouldn’t stick my nose into it either. Besides, Sayu smiled as she typed a message, so I think that everything is fine.
Asami was right. I won’t say that having many friends is good, but I won’t say that it is bad either. And after all, Sayu, before getting a job, only communicated with me. Whereas now, she could talk to Asami and Gotou-san.
Thinking about that, I looked up and met Asami’s eyes. I was slightly surprised. It looked like she was angry about something. She stared at me and obviously didn’t intend to look away. I thought I should do the same thing, so I also gazed at her.
“Nothing. Just looking.”
This staring contest was a little awkward, so I stopped. I took my cigarettes and lighter and headed to the balcony when suddenly Sayu’s phone started to ring.
“Whoa! That sure scared me!”
“Yeah, looks like the manager…”
“He calls a bit too often in the evenings.”
Asami chuckled and shrugged her shoulders.
“Sorry, I’ll go out.”
Sayu trudged into the corridor. Of course, she could’ve accepted the call inside, but Sayu was too well-mannered.
Seeing how she closed the door, I went to the balcony to smoke, when Asami suddenly called out to me.
“Yoshida-cchi… You sure, you don’t think about doing anything weird with Sayu-chaso?”
I frowned and asked with confusion.
“What do you mean by ‘anything weird’?”
Asami started lowering her voice.
“I mean, she’s got a real set of badonkers1!”
“Where did you learn this word?”
Realizing that the conversation was not over, I sat down on the bed.
“And why do you ask?”
Asami looked away at the table. It was not often that she chose words.
“What I’m saying is… That no matter how good of a person you are… She’s sweet and beautiful, and you live under the same roof. Can’t believe that you don’t have any lewd thoughts at all.
“Uh… Or perhaps you’re impotent?”
“Don’t make me angry.”
I sighed and scratched my head.
“Well, yeah… Sayu’s certainly sweet, but it doesn’t turn me on. She’s still a JK.”
Saying this, I remembered her soft smile.
“I-I just want… for her to smile naturally.”
As I said this, Asami opened her mouth and then started laughing.
“Hey! Why are you laughing?!”
“Oh, sorry! You’re just stupidly kind.”
Asami’s shoulders trembled and the corners of her lips were lifted as she spoke.
“That’s not true.”
Asami said while smiling, but then she suddenly became serious. She looked like a grown adult now. This sudden change surprised me a little.
“I know that you’re really kind, Yoshida-cchi. So, could I ask you about something?”
“Ask about what?”
Asami wasn’t one of those who with a serious look ask for something, but I didn’t say it out loud. I’m not that rude.
“I just think… She shouldn’t work right now… How, um…”
“What was that ‘Um’?”
Asami frowned and began to mumble.
“There’s this one nasty senpai.”
“Yeah, he’s somewhat… Something’s wrong with him.”
Asami couldn’t explain and was constantly shaking her head.
“It feels like if you relax, he’ll eat you.”
“What are you talking about?”
“How can I say this… In general, he’s a manwhore.”
“Manwh— Choose your words!”
“But he’s different from a lotta people, he’s a lot calmer.”
“…I don’t really understand, but you’re telling me that this kind of person works with Sayu?”
I said and Asami silently nodded.
“Generally speaking, previously, their shifts didn’t intersect, but starting from the next week, he’ll have a new schedule… and apparently will work with Sayu-chaso.”
I didn’t know him at all, so I couldn’t judge him only by what Asami was saying, but she seemed really worried about this.
Asami said, looking straight at me.
“I want you to protect Sayu-chaso.”
Her eyes were directed at me.
“Listen, if something happens and if Sayu-chaso gets into trouble… Before that happens, protect her and make sure it never gets to that… Ah, and of course I’ll also protect her at work.”
Asami frowned at me.
“No, I just thought that you too.”
While I was laughing, Asami looked confused and waited for the continuation.
“You’re really kind.”
I said it and she blushingly looked away.
“It’s nothing like that!”
“Aren’t you just looking out for your kouhai at work?”
“Not just a kouhai, but…”
Her eyes flickered and then she spoke quietly.
“My dear friend.”
Trying not to smile, I nodded.
“I see. Well, if you say so, I’ll be more attentive.”
“And yeah, tell me right away if something happens.”
Looking into each other’s eyes, we nodded, and then the door opened.
“Sorry, the manager really likes talking… Did something happen?”
Sayu came from the hallway and stared at us. We both smiled and shook our heads.
Having said the same thing at the same time, we started to laugh.
Only Sayu didn’t laugh and walked into the living room slightly annoyed.
How peaceful. At that moment, I thought Sayu and Asami were kind and serious kids. And I began to think that I wanted to protect their smiles as long as possible.
1 One of the many slangs for chest or boobs.
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