Chapter 70:

069 – Surpass Expectations

Rainbow of the Horizon—Illuminating Our Darkened Path | Our World

Blue Ink High School Open Event, Day 2.Bookmark here

"Hmm… It really is amazing how this street can still be so quiet despite the open event."Bookmark here

"You've been living here for the rest of your life, and you're still saying that, Potato?"Bookmark here

But somehow, Gin's mood ratio is Good and Neutral at 51:49 respectively. Meaning, he's on a good mood this morning.Bookmark here

"How did you even measure that, Nee-chan…"Bookmark here

"I just guessed. Until now, I still can't predict your brother.Bookmark here

But you really have a point, Gin. Maybe the school is just the only one causing a ruckus around here."Bookmark 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?"Bookmark here

"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."Bookmark here

"Count me in, Rin. My whole life has been so wrong until I was 17."Bookmark here

"It's amazing how you can say that so blankly, Nii."Bookmark here

"Well, my life has been corrected when Rin came."Bookmark here

"…!"Bookmark here

Towards the school!Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

Gin was turning the knob of the soundproofing and…Bookmark here

"GIOTTO'S-"Bookmark here

"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?!"Bookmark here

"Class 4C. They're doing Japanese sweets. I'm their first customer for the day."Bookmark here

Needless to say, I am sure that even a stick or two of dango will have its own receipt.Bookmark here

"Why didn't you even buy us at least a few sticks?!" Nagi is still continuing.Bookmark here

"I could have, but your blood is pumping so hard because of your nerves. Your veins might pop if you take in more sugar."Bookmark here

"I'm really that nervous…?"Bookmark here

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~Bookmark here

"Everyone…! Welcome to Blue Ink High School Open Event! The second day is now on its way-pyon!"Bookmark here

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Umm… pyon.Bookmark here

"Seriously?! Where did the Entertainment Club get those announcers?! Why are there rabbits in this school?!" Gin is indeed in a good mood.Bookmark here

"Welcome, customers…!" Shiro once again let out a timid greeting in front of three men… what is this.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

Immediately seeing the peculiarity compared to the customers that are still coming in, I immediately approached them after they chose their table.Bookmark here

"Customers, before I take your order… Are you going to film here?"Bookmark here

"Ah…! Sorry…! Is it not allowed to film here?"Bookmark here

"No, it's completely fine. Although… are you three from the 'We Visit' show in YouCube?"Bookmark here

"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.Bookmark here

Also, we've heard that the sous chef of Giotto's is here?"Bookmark here

"I see… Sadly, he's actually not here."Bookmark here

"Oh, that's too bad."Bookmark here

"Though, you can probably film the head chef of our Giotto's Mini."Bookmark here

"Then that's very fine too!"Bookmark here

Little did they know that he was the same person.Bookmark here

"I however wish we would've been told about this in advance so that we can prepare."Bookmark here

"Oh, um… we're really sorry about that."Bookmark here

Just imagine a 19 year-old giving working adults a pinch of scolding.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

In the end, we earned a bit from it.Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

"Gin…! Ringo…!" G called. "Go take a break now. I'll assist Jean on the kitchen!"Bookmark here

"Thanks, then!" Gin gave him a high five.Bookmark here

"Here, Rin. Iced raspberry tea, right?"Bookmark here

"Thanks Potato. Before we go out, should we help out on the desks for a bit?"Bookmark here

"Yep. You choose."Bookmark here

"I'll go with Shiro on the TAC desk, then you can assist Yuuga."Bookmark here

"Roger."Bookmark here

Upon Gin sitting beside the mangaka and entertaining the customers, an inaudible conversation arose in their side.Bookmark here

"You made a pretty bold statement yesterday, huh."Bookmark here

"My readers are quite understanding though. I'm not some big gun where paparazzi are going after me."Bookmark here

"You have a point.Bookmark here

So? When's Ms. Girlfriend going to visit here?"Bookmark 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.Bookmark here

She's coming with Erika, though."Bookmark here

"Ahahaha. Let the glasses lady be with her cousin, then."Bookmark here

"Cousin?"Bookmark here

"Rin."Bookmark here

"I didn't know that."Bookmark here

‹Gin›Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

"**Um… Excuse me," a tall man approached our desk, and surprisingly asked in the northern language.Bookmark here

"**Ah, I'm sorry for speaking in this language."Bookmark here

"**That is completely fine," uttered Yuuga.Bookmark here

"**It's nice to finally meet you, Amagami-sensei. My name is Yayoi Sumireno."Bookmark here

I thought, "His name is a little feminine…?"Bookmark here

"**It is nice to meet you too, Sumireno-san."Bookmark here

"**Then, can you please sign this volume?"Bookmark here

"**Yes! I am very grateful that you have my book."Bookmark here

"**Can I also ask for a commission? I would like to see you sketch Hana in real time."Bookmark here

"**Yes."Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

"**It's finished. I hope that you enjoy this."Bookmark here

"**Thank you very much, sensei.Bookmark here

**Also, may I ask your name?" he directed his eyes to me, which surprised me slightly.Bookmark here

"**I-I'm Gin Sakato. I once worked as an assistant for Sensei."Bookmark here

"**I didn't expect that you would be Sensei's assistant. But I am asking for a different reason, Sakato-san."Bookmark here

"**Y-Yes…?"Bookmark here

"**I recognized you from Gin Satokawa."Bookmark here

"I see… It's the character that was a reference to me."Bookmark here

"**Sakato-san, were you in Kyoto this July?"Bookmark here

"**U-Um… Yes. I am sorry that I might have forgotten if we met back then."Bookmark here

"**It's okay. We didn't… but I really wanted to thank you for what you have done for the animation company."Bookmark here

"…!"Bookmark here

"**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.Bookmark here

**Really, I can't find the words to express my gratitude to you."Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

**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.Bookmark here

**I remember now… It was Yahiko-san that drew Satokawa for me. Sumireno-san, I promise to visit him sometime."Bookmark here

"**I see… If you will, this is my contact. Please call me, so that I can accompany you.Bookmark here

**I will be leaving, then."Bookmark here

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"Well, I guess Rin and I will take our break. We'll be back later, Yuuga."Bookmark here

"Huh… I've never seen you smile like that."Bookmark here

"I'm… smiling…?"Bookmark here

"What do you mean? You have such a happy grin on you."Bookmark here

"R-Really…?"Bookmark here

I didn't realize, but it actually left me overjoyed to be thanked that deeply.Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

"Hello, Gin? Thank goodness you finally picked up," on a rushed tone on his voice, Akira voiced out on the speaker of my phone.Bookmark here

"Sorry, I didn't have my phone in the balcony. Is there a problem?"Bookmark here

"Is the club's PC turned on right now? Is it connected to the school's servers?"Bookmark here

"Yes and yes."Bookmark here

"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."Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

"I think I've got a match. Are they all sticking together?"Bookmark here

"Yes. They're going around booths without separating."Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

"They've stopped. Akira, quickly blink the lights in front of Class 3B's booth."Bookmark here

"I'm on it!"Bookmark here

"Hey, Gin! What're you doing, slacking and all at work?" G scolded while taking a glance on me.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

"Oi… why is that old man here…?" surprisingly, G reacted with a pinch of hostility.Bookmark here

"Do you know him, G?"Bookmark here

"So those people are here to cause trouble and look down on us, huh…Bookmark here

Gin, the one wearing a fedora is the principal of Mykes."Bookmark here

"What? Why would they be here?"Bookmark 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.Bookmark here

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."Bookmark here

"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.Bookmark here

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Alright. Akira, can you do something to divert them towards the club?"Bookmark here

"That's honestly a tall order, so you'll have to wait half an hour."Bookmark here

"That's plenty of time. G, tell the others that this day will go as planned, following what we have agreed in the meeting.Bookmark here

We'll have to double the efficiency."Bookmark here

"Oh, yeah? Well, I'm going on my break right now, so best regards. I'll be back before closing."Bookmark here

"Ehh… Go vent out your frustrations, then. It's not good if we overwork ourselves."Bookmark here

"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.Bookmark here

Also, I would appreciate it if I can take the same time of break tomorrow. Though… it will rain tomorrow, huh."Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

What's he talking about…?"Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

"Rin. Remember—whatever they say, please try to keep yourself calm in front of them."Bookmark here

"That goes without saying, Gin. We have something to throw back at them when they throw first."Bookmark here

Thirty-eight minutes have passed.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

So at last, they reached the Art Room. There is only an hour left for the second day of the Open Event.Bookmark here

"Welcome, customers."Bookmark here

But even after the three's background is disclosed, the room has fortunately maintained the ethics.Bookmark here

They chose a table that was labeled Table 04, and skimmed through the menu.Bookmark here

"Calling this a restaurant? Hah! How conceited!"Bookmark here

"Surely this place does not have much to offer. We might be wasting our time here, honestly."Bookmark here

"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."Bookmark here

"Customers, may I get your orders now?" Rin approached the table with a notepad on hand.Bookmark here

"Mala Ramen."Bookmark here

"Cheese Risotto."Bookmark here

"Fettuccine Alfredo…Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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!"Bookmark here

"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."Bookmark here

"That does not change the fact that you are just a bunch of counterfeits!"Bookmark here

"…"Bookmark here

Suddenly, Rin went away from the table.Bookmark here

"Hey, woman! We are not done talking!"Bookmark here

But then, she came back with a frame on her hand.Bookmark here

"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.Bookmark here

If you have further concerns we can have the head chef step in right now."Bookmark here

"Then call whoever that head chef is…!"Bookmark here

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"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?"Bookmark here

"Y-You… I've seen you before. You are indeed the sous chef of that restaurant."Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

"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."Bookmark here

"And if we did otherwise?"Bookmark here

"We will pay you triple- no… quintuple the original price of what we ordered! Not like you can serve something good!"Bookmark here

"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."Bookmark here

"No, head chef or whatever. We will keep our ends until the last. We have our word."Bookmark here

"If that is the case… I will be going back to the kitchen to ready your orders. I will take my leave."Bookmark here

"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."Bookmark here

"Urk…?!"Bookmark here

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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.Bookmark here

"Those students are so full of themselves… They dare call this a restaurant? What a joke."Bookmark here

"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."Bookmark here

"That's just because they have a backer! Of course things will be easier when you have someone working there!"Bookmark here

"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."Bookmark here

The other two principals have begun to sway away from the ideas of the president of Mykes.Bookmark here

"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!"Bookmark here

"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."Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

"Y-You're really Y-Yuki Amagami in real life?!"Bookmark here

"Yes. I'm grateful that you have read my story."Bookmark here

"It's Howaito and Nanagi! Umm…! Can we take a picture with you two?! W-We'll also buy prints…!"Bookmark here

"We're fine with a selfie."Bookmark here

"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!"Bookmark here

"Ahahaha. We're glad that you enjoyed it."Bookmark here

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"Oho… Quite a good ambiance.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

"Ah, yes. He's currently cooking."Bookmark here

"Oh, then we'll have a table."Bookmark here

"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.Bookmark here

"We're here for a break. Off-duty until six. Anything you can recommend, Ms. Akanami?"Bookmark here

"You will have to wait for a bit, detective.Bookmark here

Here are the orders for Table 04. We hope that you enjoy it."Bookmark here

"Hmph."Bookmark here

Rin came back to them.Bookmark here

"Hmm… You have some rude customers here, huh," Juno's assistant whispered.Bookmark here

"Then… have you already checked out some of the classes' services?"Bookmark here

"Yes. One had hefty smashed burgers so I had to ask for three stacks."Bookmark here

"I see. So you two are here for something light? I will recommend Pasta Aglio e Olio."Bookmark here

"Then we'll have that along with black coffee each after the meal."Bookmark here

"Two Pasta Aglio e Olio and black coffee. You are free to look around the room while waiting for your orders."Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

"Those principals can already pay Potato's electric, water, and internet bills for the month just like that…"Bookmark here

The three left the school while keeping their word.Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

"Ginji… What's with that look…?"Bookmark here

"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.Bookmark here

Anyways… you are the one that led me here. That is why this happened, Yui."Bookmark here

"I… don't get what you're saying…"Bookmark here

"This may not come at any given situation anymore, so I'll say this right here and right now.Bookmark here

Hahh…Bookmark here

Yui, I'm in love with you."

Chapter Message:Bookmark here

That wraps up 069!Bookmark here

This ended with some kind of a confession, so let's not talk about the chapter number.Bookmark here

Anyway, 070 will be split into two!Bookmark here

Thank you for reading!Bookmark here

NextBookmark here

070.1: The golden time and letting everything bare.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.