Rainbow of the Horizon—Illuminating Our Darkened Path | Our World
Blue Ink High School Open Event, Day 2.
"Hmm… It really is amazing how this street can still be so quiet despite the open event."
"You've been living here for the rest of your life, and you're still saying that, Potato?"
But somehow, Gin's mood ratio is Good and Neutral at 51:49 respectively. Meaning, he's on a good mood this morning.
"How did you even measure that, Nee-chan…"
"I just guessed. Until now, I still can't predict your brother.
But you really have a point, Gin. Maybe the school is just the only one causing a ruckus around here."
"I suddenly remembered what happened here in my third year. There was a police chase and an exchange of gunshots here and a few minutes after, it got 'dead' silent again. But no one died in the standoff, alright?"
"I'm much more surprised that the neighbors didn't even make a noise based from your description. Maybe something's wrong with the residents of this street."
"Count me in, Rin. My whole life has been so wrong until I was 17."
"It's amazing how you can say that so blankly, Nii."
"Well, my life has been corrected when Rin came."
Towards the school!
~ ~ ~
The air presented its weight of tension anew, as the arm of the clock slowly reaches a 90°, pointing at the ninth hour of the day. Our posts have returned back to how it was originally from the official opening yesterday.
Gin was turning the knob of the soundproofing and…
"Oi, you stop right there you idiot!" Nagi screamed and pointed fingers at him. "Even if you shouted, it will be so unconvincing with the stick of dango in your hand! Where did you get that, anyway?!"
"Class 4C. They're doing Japanese sweets. I'm their first customer for the day."
Needless to say, I am sure that even a stick or two of dango will have its own receipt.
"Why didn't you even buy us at least a few sticks?!" Nagi is still continuing.
"I could have, but your blood is pumping so hard because of your nerves. Your veins might pop if you take in more sugar."
"I'm really that nervous…?"
While they are still not done with the idle talk, the broadcasting speakers sounded a moment of a high-pitched hum. Someone's phone is not turned off in the broadcast room, I see~
"Everyone…! Welcome to Blue Ink High School Open Event! The second day is now on its way-pyon!"
"Seriously?! Where did the Entertainment Club get those announcers?! Why are there rabbits in this school?!" Gin is indeed in a good mood.
"Welcome, customers…!" Shiro once again let out a timid greeting in front of three men… what is this.
One of the three is empty handed, and the other two is holding two cameras. One is a beefy camera that probably made those two in the reception drool, and another is holding a GoP*o. Umm… GoPoo? Flying apples, that's disgusting.
Immediately seeing the peculiarity compared to the customers that are still coming in, I immediately approached them after they chose their table.
"Customers, before I take your order… Are you going to film here?"
"Ah…! Sorry…! Is it not allowed to film here?"
"No, it's completely fine. Although… are you three from the 'We Visit' show in YouCube?"
"Ah, yes. We are the Orion team of the channel. We would like to do a little setup here so we can film the reaction. Of course, we won't only be paying for the food, but also for the cooperation.
Also, we've heard that the sous chef of Giotto's is here?"
"I see… Sadly, he's actually not here."
"Oh, that's too bad."
"Though, you can probably film the head chef of our Giotto's Mini."
"Then that's very fine too!"
Little did they know that he was the same person.
"I however wish we would've been told about this in advance so that we can prepare."
"Oh, um… we're really sorry about that."
Just imagine a 19 year-old giving working adults a pinch of scolding.
But fitting another three people in the veranda made the space too cramped. There is a huge camera pointing at Gin and Jean, then there are the two hosts watching their dishes come to product and conducting a hands-on interview. Thankfully, the B-roll did not take so long.
In the end, we earned a bit from it.
~ ~ ~
"Gin…! Ringo…!" G called. "Go take a break now. I'll assist Jean on the kitchen!"
"Thanks, then!" Gin gave him a high five.
"Here, Rin. Iced raspberry tea, right?"
"Thanks Potato. Before we go out, should we help out on the desks for a bit?"
"Yep. You choose."
"I'll go with Shiro on the TAC desk, then you can assist Yuuga."
Upon Gin sitting beside the mangaka and entertaining the customers, an inaudible conversation arose in their side.
"You made a pretty bold statement yesterday, huh."
"My readers are quite understanding though. I'm not some big gun where paparazzi are going after me."
"You have a point.
So? When's Ms. Girlfriend going to visit here?"
Yuuga's face lightly flushed, "She said that she will be here on Thursday and Friday. She doesn't want to miss the last day apparently.
She's coming with Erika, though."
"Ahahaha. Let the glasses lady be with her cousin, then."
"I didn't know that."
One of the reasons why Tenth chose this week for the open event is to use the time of the "Cotona Week" that has been recently implemented by a law. And in the weekday of this week, the days from 9th to 11th are holidays while Blue Ink is undergoing its event. Thus, a greater volume of people is going to be expected.
"**Um… Excuse me," a tall man approached our desk, and surprisingly asked in the northern language.
"**Ah, I'm sorry for speaking in this language."
"**That is completely fine," uttered Yuuga.
"**It's nice to finally meet you, Amagami-sensei. My name is Yayoi Sumireno."
I thought, "His name is a little feminine…?"
"**It is nice to meet you too, Sumireno-san."
"**Then, can you please sign this volume?"
"**Yes! I am very grateful that you have my book."
"**Can I also ask for a commission? I would like to see you sketch Hana in real time."
~ ~ ~
Sumireno-san sat in front of the desk while watching Yuuga sketch and ink a portrait of Hana from her manga. Upon a brief observation, I see him as a quiet and calm person. He wore an endless smile, although there is an obvious hint of sadness on it, or it may just be how his eyebrows somehow express sadness even if he does not want to.
"**It's finished. I hope that you enjoy this."
"**Thank you very much, sensei.
**Also, may I ask your name?" he directed his eyes to me, which surprised me slightly.
"**I-I'm Gin Sakato. I once worked as an assistant for Sensei."
"**I didn't expect that you would be Sensei's assistant. But I am asking for a different reason, Sakato-san."
"**I recognized you from Gin Satokawa."
"I see… It's the character that was a reference to me."
"**Sakato-san, were you in Kyoto this July?"
"**U-Um… Yes. I am sorry that I might have forgotten if we met back then."
"**It's okay. We didn't… but I really wanted to thank you for what you have done for the animation company."
"**I can still remember it clearly to this day… I saw you when you were carrying… the body of my brother from the remains of the burnt building.
**Really, I can't find the words to express my gratitude to you."
**I am also thankful to hear that. It was the least that I can do, but I am very happy that it made you feel better.
**I remember now… It was Yahiko-san that drew Satokawa for me. Sumireno-san, I promise to visit him sometime."
"**I see… If you will, this is my contact. Please call me, so that I can accompany you.
**I will be leaving, then."
"Well, I guess Rin and I will take our break. We'll be back later, Yuuga."
"Huh… I've never seen you smile like that."
"What do you mean? You have such a happy grin on you."
I didn't realize, but it actually left me overjoyed to be thanked that deeply.
~ ~ ~
"Hello, Gin? Thank goodness you finally picked up," on a rushed tone on his voice, Akira voiced out on the speaker of my phone.
"Sorry, I didn't have my phone in the balcony. Is there a problem?"
"Is the club's PC turned on right now? Is it connected to the school's servers?"
"Yes and yes."
"Alright, I'll hook you up on the live footage of the security cameras. We've been monitoring three suspicious people inside the school right now. Two of them are men and the other one is the opposite. Currently, it's hard to get a look on their faces especially with the woman."
While still making my way towards the PC, I have already seen that the autonomous network is doing its work of displaying camera angles on the screen. Hovering the pointer, I checked through different angles in the entire school.
"I think I've got a match. Are they all sticking together?"
"Yes. They're going around booths without separating."
From the live footage where I am following a number of three people, their facial features are hard to distinguish. One is wearing a cap, then a fedora, and then a wide hat for the woman.
"They've stopped. Akira, quickly blink the lights in front of Class 3B's booth."
"I'm on it!"
"Hey, Gin! What're you doing, slacking and all at work?" G scolded while taking a glance on me.
The lights then blinked five times, which attracted an attention as it was somewhat dark in that space without ample lighting. With that, nearly everyone in the frame raised their heads to look up.
"Oi… why is that old man here…?" surprisingly, G reacted with a pinch of hostility.
"Do you know him, G?"
"So those people are here to cause trouble and look down on us, huh…
Gin, the one wearing a fedora is the principal of Mykes."
"What? Why would they be here?"
"I also suspect that the other two are principals of other schools, though I don't know where. Seeing that they are in that outfit, it seems that they are scouting around the school since it's the open event.
One reason I can think of is that they want to evaluate this open event based on the students. I'm telling you, that arrogant principal of Mykes has a habit of looking down on people and arbitrarily judging them even by the smallest mistake. He's all about standards and he wouldn't hesitate to kick out a student that doesn't pass his trash of a parameter. I don't even know how and why he is the president of that school."
"Agh… that made me irritated how much he coincides with Horach. I hate having to do a one-up on the other classes' efforts, but this is a matter of trampling Tenth's endeavor of making this system better.
Alright. Akira, can you do something to divert them towards the club?"
"That's honestly a tall order, so you'll have to wait half an hour."
"That's plenty of time. G, tell the others that this day will go as planned, following what we have agreed in the meeting.
We'll have to double the efficiency."
"Oh, yeah? Well, I'm going on my break right now, so best regards. I'll be back before closing."
"Ehh… Go vent out your frustrations, then. It's not good if we overwork ourselves."
"I will, I will. Don't worry about me, I at least know what pain feels like when it hit you. I'll put up for a little longer until I find the best time to open my mouth.
Also, I would appreciate it if I can take the same time of break tomorrow. Though… it will rain tomorrow, huh."
What's he talking about…?"
~ ~ ~
"Rin. Remember—whatever they say, please try to keep yourself calm in front of them."
"That goes without saying, Gin. We have something to throw back at them when they throw first."
Thirty-eight minutes have passed.
In that span of time, there were five classes that had their morales degraded because of taking unnecessarily cruel criticism from the band of three that had entered the school. Monitoring their pattern of movement, there was a high chance that it is for the purpose of ruining the reputation of the school and its unique system, so as to be forced to come back to the incessant hierarchical system that Tenth strenuously shunned away.
So at last, they reached the Art Room. There is only an hour left for the second day of the Open Event.
But even after the three's background is disclosed, the room has fortunately maintained the ethics.
They chose a table that was labeled Table 04, and skimmed through the menu.
"Calling this a restaurant? Hah! How conceited!"
"Surely this place does not have much to offer. We might be wasting our time here, honestly."
"Well, the Culinary Arts department also has a restaurant which is not bad at all. And this is an Arts course. There is no way that they can deliver the same service here."
"Customers, may I get your orders now?" Rin approached the table with a notepad on hand.
What is this…? What is wrong with this menu? Did you students forget to make desserts? And you call this place a restaurant?! Shame on you, you people doesn't even know how to run a proper restaurant.
Also, you are calling this Giotto's? What is this funny rip-off?! Are you out of your minds for you to use a name of an existing restaurant?! Preposterous! Unethical! I demand you to close down everything!"
"Customers, I understand that our menu does not present a dessert, but it was intended, as there is a cafe that is selling confections on the room above this. We have a partnership, in which we will lead them to their place as a transitioning from this restaurant."
"That does not change the fact that you are just a bunch of counterfeits!"
Suddenly, Rin went away from the table.
"Hey, woman! We are not done talking!"
But then, she came back with a frame on her hand.
"Customers, the main branch of Giotto's gave their authorization to Giotto's Mini, to function as externally with their permission. Thus, we are acknowledged as an official branch, although temporarily.
If you have further concerns we can have the head chef step in right now."
"Then call whoever that head chef is…!"
"I am Gin Sakato, the head chef of Giotto's Mini, and officially the sous chef of Giotto's main branch. Is something the matter with our service?"
"Y-You… I've seen you before. You are indeed the sous chef of that restaurant."
At that point, they have made so much of a scene that the other customers have begun to look at them with disappointed face implying that the three lashed out without knowing the background of the restaurant.
"Then so be it…! If we are dissatisfied with the dishes that you will serve, we will leave this place without paying and we will demand this restaurant to be closed."
"And if we did otherwise?"
"We will pay you triple- no… quintuple the original price of what we ordered! Not like you can serve something good!"
"Customers, we understand that we might be lacking as a very small branch, but please refrain from making such reckless suggestions. We can't have you pay that much for a dish. Besides, this is still a school."
"No, head chef or whatever. We will keep our ends until the last. We have our word."
"If that is the case… I will be going back to the kitchen to ready your orders. I will take my leave."
"Then… one Mala Ramen, Cheese Risotto, and Fettuccine Alfredo. We will serve you water promptly. While waiting for your orders, you can look around the place."
There was not a hint of hesitation towards the volume of their voice, as if deliberately letting themselves be heard by the entire room. And so, even those who are staffing the desks can hear the blatant utterances.
"Those students are so full of themselves… They dare call this a restaurant? What a joke."
"I have to be honest however, Mykes's head, I didn't expect them to go such lengths and make this restaurant an extension to Giotto's."
"That's just because they have a backer! Of course things will be easier when you have someone working there!"
"I wouldn't say I don't agree, but are you disregarding the fact that a student like him is a bona fide sous chef at such a young age? That in itself is already an outstanding feat."
The other two principals have begun to sway away from the ideas of the president of Mykes.
"Whatever you say…! That does not prove if they can show results! And you call yourself owners of your schools when your heads easily turn!"
"Of course we would be. Those senior high school students are already behaving beyond a high school student. You should be the one asking yourself—for calling them unethical."
The conversation abruptly cut, and they had turned silent. With nothing to say towards each other, they observed the surroundings of the room. They saw the customers come and go while their orders have not yet been served, and it somewhat left them standing on a platform of astonishment. If there was one word to describe how the customers feel… may it be on the restaurant's side or the creative side—it would be elation.
"Y-You're really Y-Yuki Amagami in real life?!"
"Yes. I'm grateful that you have read my story."
"It's Howaito and Nanagi! Umm…! Can we take a picture with you two?! W-We'll also buy prints…!"
"We're fine with a selfie."
"Yes! Man, it's so great that the TAC suddenly popped up! You see, I actually went to the mountains and found the mural you did. It was amazing!"
"Ahahaha. We're glad that you enjoyed it."
"Oho… Quite a good ambiance.
Young man, is Gin somewhere inside?" a man wearing a long coat entered with another of the same description. The former turned to Mori, and asked.
"Ah, yes. He's currently cooking."
"Oh, then we'll have a table."
"Detective Artecus? What brings you here?" Rin, who had stepped in the room with a tray on her, saw the unusual appearance of the two detectives.
"We're here for a break. Off-duty until six. Anything you can recommend, Ms. Akanami?"
"You will have to wait for a bit, detective.
Here are the orders for Table 04. We hope that you enjoy it."
Rin came back to them.
"Hmm… You have some rude customers here, huh," Juno's assistant whispered.
"Then… have you already checked out some of the classes' services?"
"Yes. One had hefty smashed burgers so I had to ask for three stacks."
"I see. So you two are here for something light? I will recommend Pasta Aglio e Olio."
"Then we'll have that along with black coffee each after the meal."
"Two Pasta Aglio e Olio and black coffee. You are free to look around the room while waiting for your orders."
~ ~ ~
A loud slamming noise reverberated inside the room. It was followed by the principal of Mykes leaving the room at a fast walking pace, leaving the other two principals.
From where the slam came from, which is Table 04, 750 Laxes was left in front of the unoccupied seat. With that, the waitress immediately came and also took the bill of the ones that were left behind. Their receipt was successfully handed out to them, while Rin safely stored nearly two thousand Laxes into the club's bank.
"Those principals can already pay Potato's electric, water, and internet bills for the month just like that…"
The three left the school while keeping their word.
▪ ▪ ▪
When October comes in the country of Orio, the time of the day immediately shortens so much that before the fifteenth hour pass by, the sky began to darken.
October 9th—the new building's rooftop floor is still obviously damp as the rain literally just stopped, and the sun has once again shone, with spears of light piercing through the scattering clouds. In this place, it was only the blows of the wind that can be heard. And there stood Ginji with a stern look in his eyes that is gazing directly on the bewildered eyes of a certain young woman.
"Ginji… What's with that look…?"
"Ah, this. This is a look of seriousness. I was thinking so much about what I'm going to do on the final day of open event that I disregarded the days before that. But even if I moved in the last day, I will just look so cliched, like I am some kind of a manga character.
Anyways… you are the one that led me here. That is why this happened, Yui."
"I… don't get what you're saying…"
"This may not come at any given situation anymore, so I'll say this right here and right now.
Yui, I'm in love with you."
That wraps up 069!
This ended with some kind of a confession, so let's not talk about the chapter number.
Anyway, 070 will be split into two!
Thank you for reading!
070.1: The golden time and letting everything bare.